Tiger Woods and former caddie Steve Williams suffered an ugly breakup in 2011, which clearly left its mark.
According to Williams, Woods fired him over the phone, ending what had been a successful relationship, a relationship that spanned over some of Woods’ most successful seasons.
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Williams — who had retired but announced Monday he’d be returning to caddie for Adam Scott through the PGA Championship — did a revealing (and terrific) interview recently with Golf Digest. In the interview, the New Zealand native shed light on the firing.
“Not hearing it from him face-to-face really bothered me,” he told the magazine. “The suddenness of it, the way it was done, him coming out of the hardest time in his life and me having been loyal to him for so many years, was worth some consideration. Caddies get fired all the time—hey, Greg (Norman) fired me in 1989—but when you have what you believe is a friendship, it’s going to leave a mark.”
Despite that one recollection, most of Williams’ words about Woods (and there are a lot of them) are positive. That includes a pretty passionate defense of Woods in regards to performance-enhancing drug allegations. Woods has never been directly accused of using PEDs, but his physique changed over the years, and his connection to Dr. Anthony Galea and platelet-rich plasma theory raised eyebrows and led to whispers.
However, Williams insists Woods did it clean.
“Did Tiger do PEDs? There’s no chance,” Williams told Golf Digest. “Love him or hate him, Tiger always respected the game. He knows its history and people, its standing in sports and the world. He always knew what golf did for him personally.
“Whether PEDs have been used by other people is a good question, because it’s occurred in every other sport. So why would golf be any different? The PGA Tour tries so hard to promote a squeaky-clean image, and we all know that’s not the case, certainly with recreational drugs and probably the other stuff. I saw no specific cases and was never particularly interested in the subject. But, yeah, I’m sure it’s gone on.”